Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, India
Title: Fresh cut fruits and vegetables for ready to cook and eat
Bhuvaneswari S is having 12 years of research experience in the field of Post Harvest Technology. Her research contributions are in the area of post harvest management of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as in small scale processing of fruit juices and beverages. She has published research papers in reputed journals as well as presented her research work (both oral and poster papers) in national and international seminars.
Fruits and vegetables consumption plays a key role in healthy diet. The World Health organization suggests a daily intake of 400g of fruits and vegetables by a normal adult. In the urbanized living, where time is a limiting factor, this ready to use fruits and vegetables is available in easy to use form with minimal waste. The preparation involves trimming, peeling, cutting, sanitizing and packing conveniently to offer consumer fully usable product with high nutritive value, increased shelf life and without much change in their freshness. The cutting of the fresh fruits and vegetables causes destruction of surface cells, wounding of underlying tissue which causes biochemical and physiological reactions that results in shelf life reduction and quality deterioration. To overcome this, surface treatment is done by dipping the freshly cut pieces into aqueous solutions which may be antimicrobial agent to prevent microbial growth, antioxidants to prevent browning or firmness agents like calcium salts to improve tissue firmness. The selection of treatment depends on the type of the produce. The success of the fresh cut fruits and vegetables in the marketplace will be made possible by convenient package which will extend the shelf life without quality deterioration. Till today, most of the temperate fruits and vegetables are sold in fresh cut form, there is a wide scope for nutritive rich tropical fruits and vegetable to transform into fresh cut, ready to use form to find a place in domestic as well as export market in both developed and developing countries.